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Recognize the value of giving Max Keeping tells Canadian Club

“You, Max, are the icon of generosity,” said  executive board member Doug Grenkie, thanking guest speaker, Max Keeping, following the September 21 meeting of the Canadian Club of Morrisburg and District.

Recently retired after over three decades as anchor of CTV/CJOH television in eastern Ontario and long time community supporter and activist, Keeping shared his views of giving, of the importance of community and of the role of the media in the community. His Newfoundland sense of humour always at the forefront, Keeping delivered an inspirational and thoughtful message.

He recalled how essential a station like CJOH has been to the eastern Ontario community, bringing people together through distinctive local productions and shows that reflect rural values and strengths. He was proud that New Faces, Regional Contact, and even the off-the-wall show, You Can’t Do That on Television, are remembered and honoured for their hometown spirit. They showcased the interesting places and people that mattered to eastern Ontario communities.

“In the 1960s,” Keeping said, “when I was just starting out, Ernest L. Bushnell was the new owner of CJOH TV. I remember him saying ‘This station must exist to do more than just make me money.’ He felt that his station had to be of service and benefit to the community.”

Keeping followed that philosophy throughout his on air career, actively promoting and supporting fund raisers, funding drives and community campaigns for nearly 40 years, including his work for CHEO, raising millions of dollars for sick children during telethons.

“In this wonderful and exciting new world of technology, our definition of neigbour is going to change. My neigbours used to be anyone four miles away. Now a neighbour can mean someone 8,000 miles away. The ability to net work and to bring people together on line in a good cause is a characteristic of young people today. They still cherish our fundamental values, but they plan to use technology to remake the world.”

Although he values and supports the new technical approaches to community involvement and fund raising, Keeping shared anedotes about the “good old days” on the  CJOH TV, when there was a push to get right out into the community to broadcast.

“Once, on a four nights run of a show called Hometown Tours, we decided in one town that it would be a great idea to put J.J. Clark, the weatherman, out into the river to deliver his report,” Keeping laughed.

“With more than a minute and a half to go in the report, J.J. suddenly threw the live mike back at me and I had to cover. When I asked him why later, he indignantly replied that the current was so strong, it was pulling him under. “I was drowning!”

Another time I talked him into making his weather broadcast from atop a live elephant. Suddenly the beast took off with J.J. trapped. We used to put him into all kinds of predicaments. I don’t think,” Keeping laughed, “that J.J. really minded when I left.”

He praised the efforts of the public service employees, of individuals and service groups and ordinary people for their generosity to others.

“Throughout my long career, I have learned to recognize and value the act of giving,” Keeping concluded.

“You receive so much more when you give. You of rural Canada have set the bar high in generosity to others: we in the cities must strive to meet that same bar.”


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Casino night at the Hartford

The Hartford Retirement Centre hosted its first Casino Night on September 22nd from 7 to 9 p.m. Many residents were joined by family and friends for an evening of fun.

According to organizer, Marilyn Arsenault, the Hartford rented two blackjack tables, two slot machines, and two crown & anchor wheels from their sister centre in Ottawa, Rideau Place on the River.

She told the Leader that “each person was given a bucket with 20 chips in it (and) they traveled around to the different games” playing until “their chips were gone.”

Included in the night were prizes provided by Hartford manager, Kim Hodkinson. The first place went to Jean Dunbar. The second place went to Evelyn Smail and the third to Mary Lynch.

In addition, there were seven randomly chosen door prizes.

According to Arsenault, it was “such an enjoyable night that residents are still talking about it” the morning after.

“We saw people out – residents who don’t usually come out.”

She and Hodkinson estimated that there were close to 70 people in attendance.

Arsenault wanted to say “thank you to Frank Lalonde, Richard Pecore and Penny Richmire” for their help.

Casino Night at the Hartford was such a success that there’s talk of bringing it back again in the spring, but this time it will be  “bigger and better.”


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Local minister and wife set off on mission to Africa in October

The Morrisburg Pentecostal Tabernacle’s Reverend Duncan Perry and wife Sandra, will be heading to Africa on October 12th along with 14 volunteers from other Pentecostal Churches.

According to Perry, this particular trip was organized by Sandra Gill, the Women’s Ministries Director for the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada.

He told the Leader that Gill “has done several of these trips (and she) does them once or twice a year.”

Gill is the one responsible for bringing Perry and his wife together with the other 14 travelers, of which there are five couples and four women traveling solo.

Perry shared that  going on a mission has been “something (he’s) wanted to do for a number of years.”

He “likes exposing people to missions.”

“Our congregation is very mission minded. We give a fair chunk of change to missions every year.”

Perry’s group will be heading for the Villages of Hope (VOH) – Malawi in Lilongwe where, according to the VOH website, “over one million children (age 0 – 17) have become orphaned” as of 2009.

Perry said that HIV/AIDS is responsible for the large numbers of orphaned children.

Malawi, also known as the “warm heart of Africa,” is a country in the southeast of Africa bordered by Zambia, Tanzania, and Mozambique.

The VOH “provides the children of Malawi with food, shelter, health services, and education.”

To go on this mission, the group was expected to raise $6,000 and Perry says they’ve actually raised $10,000, so they will “be able to do more than (they had) anticipated.”

Perry told the Leader that there are “no administration fees” and that “all” of the money will go straight toward helping the children of Malawi.

In addition to money, Perry and his group will be taking along things like clothes, tools, food, and even Tim Horton’s coffee.

While there, they will be doing a host of different things including house repairs due to termite damage, painting, windows, installing new screens, and fixing playground structures.

In addition, the women will be working in the schools and ministering to the women of Malawi.

At present, Perry says there are “about twelve missionaries” in Africa. “One, (a woman from Ottawa), is in a very remote part of Kenya.” He says “she hardly ever sees anybody.”

Perry has tremendous respect for those full-time missionaries who volunteer for these stations, saying  they’re “the heart of God. They’re amazing people.”

As for Perry himself, he says that this trip is “going to be an eye-opener.” He believes that his “outlook on life is going to be drastically changed.”

He even talked of doing missions once or twice a year following retirement.

Perry explained that while this trip happened to be planned for Africa, it just as easily could have been  planned for one of a number of other mission countries, like India or El Salvador for example. He shared his wish to do mission work in India.

To get ready for this trip, the group had to be immunized against yellow fever, typhoid, Hepatitis A and B. In addition, they will have to take malaria pills and “travelers diet” pills while there.

The group will arrive back in Canada on October 28th.

Perry promises to take lots of pictures to share upon his return.


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Council considers what role SD should play in arts and culture

At the South Dundas council meeting on September 20th, Mayor Steven Byvelds reported back to members on the proposed development of a “plan to deal with our culture and art community” from the recent city council meeting.

Byvelds was “looking for direction from council (to see) if they want me to participate” and, if so, he will “bring reports back to council.”

He pointed out the disadvantage of not going: “we’d be sitting in the dark. Not to go would be unwise.”

He went on to reveal that the “Cornwall arts was vocal at this meeting” and that “not all the municipalities are keen on participating.”

Byvelds pointed out: “I think we in South Dundas have a lot of cultural arts that would benefit from a plan of this sort.”

Deputy Mayor Jim Locke saw no harm in staying informed, especially “if (Byvelds is) going to be there anyway.”

Councillor Evonne Delegarde agreed that South Dundas “can benefit from this.”

Councillor Archie Mellan concurred, saying that “at least (we’d) have our foot in the door.”

Byvelds concluded the discussion saying that he does “strongly feel that some of the arts community (needs)  to be involved.”

In addition, he said that he “certainly would encourage all council to visit the website.” The website address is

The Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry Culture Plan provides an easy to read detailed outline for the proposal they term “Culturescape.”

“The SD&G Culture Plan is funded by a partnership consisting of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Creative Community Prosperity Fund; The Eastern Ontario Training Board; the SD&G Community Futures Development Corporation; and, the City of Cornwall.”

Culturescape goes on to reveal that “the Culture Plan is intended to be regional in scope while addressing local initiatives in each community.”

The listed goals for the Culturescape study include the promotion of civic engagement; the strengthening of community identity; the provision of a plan of action for cultural development; the promotion of a better understanding of culture; the support for growth of the cultural sector; the creation of  linkages between culture and other civic activities; and, the support of economic development.

The study comes complete with a time line detailing the objectives for the Culture Plan going forward.


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Volunteers concerned with cost of insurance

On September 20th, Councillor Evonne Delegarde conveyed to South Dundas council members what she’s been hearing in terms of volunteer concerns about insurance costs.

She told council members that “volunteers are coming forward” and they’re “concerned about their bottom line” when they’re paying so much out in insurance.

In addition, Delegarde mentioned the extra work volunteers are having to expend when they’re already strapped for time.
Mayor Steven Byvelds was concerned that volunteers would leave themselves and their personal assets at risk of lawsuit.
This issue raised discussion from all sides and all angles.

Councillor Archie Mellan was concerned about hockey teams leaving the area to go to Cardinal or Long Sault rinks where they aren’t obligated to pay for insurance coverage.

Clerk Brenda Brunt pointed out that the other municipalities would soon be following suit.

Chief Administrative Officer Stephen McDonald reminded council that the change in policy regarding insurance was done “to transfer risk away from the municipality so that we’re not the sole payer. That’s the whole intent. That’s why we ask subcontractors to have insurance.”

In the end, Byvelds requested that Brunt look into the options available and report back to council at the next meeting.


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Winchester hosts candidates debate

The North Dundas Chamber of Commerce (NDCC) with the Dundas Federation of Agriculture (DFA) hosted a candidates debate September 22nd at the Winchester Arena.

Provincial election candidates in attendance included Liberal Mark A. MacDonald, Libertarian Darcy Neal Donnelly, NDP Elaine MacDonald, and, PC Jim McDonell. Absent was the Green Party’s Justin Reist.

In an email to the Leader, Reist stated: “Unfortunately, I will be unable to attend the debate in Winchester due to my responsibilities with school. ”

The debate got underway with a short introduction and welcome by Jackie Pemberton, President of the DFA. Bill Smirle, Secretary for the NDCC played emcee and kept everyone on target and on time.

PC candidate, Jim McDonell, opened the introductory speech portion of the night where each candidate had five minutes to say what they pleased.

McDonell talked about his upbringing, his political background, and his plans for the area. “Strong farms are vital to a strong Ontario,” said McDonell.

He claimed that Ontario is a “have not province for the first time in our history,” going on to talk about getting rid of government red-tape and putting “more money back into the hands of the people.”

He finished with a plea: “Vote for the party you can trust to do what they say they’ll do.”

Next up to the podium was Libertarian candidate, Darcy Neal Donnelly, who began by saying that he was there to “create awareness of our political party.”

He shared that he and his party “believe in law and order” and that people should be “treated equally, not even our government will be above the law.”

He went on to say that his party is “against government assuming control.”

He repeated an earlier plea for recruits and funds: “We’re looking for people to join us. We’re looking for new leaders. We’re looking for financial sponsors.”

Third in the introductory lineup of statements was Liberal Candidate Mark A. MacDonald who began by saying, “it’s nice to see so many people getting engaged with the political process.”

He them moved directly into his personal accountability record saying “I’ve been a fire fighter my whole life – people counted on me, people trusted me, and I never let them down.”

As for his party’s record, he had this to say: “We’re living in a time of great global uncertainty.”

“Ontario is a great place to live. Would you rather be living in New York?” He continued, “Ontario is leading the way on the economic front.”

Last, but not least, in the opening lineup of introductions was the NDP’s Elaine MacDonald who reminded the audience that there aren’t just two choices in this election: “You have a third choice.”

She told the audience that if her party were elected they would first “have to kickstart the economy (by) investing in job creation” as well as by “reducing taxes for small businesses.”

Secondly, she promised the NDP would “strengthen public services” by making education affordable, creating access to jobs, ensuring adequate pensions and care for seniors, as well as improving access to healthcare.

Upon completion of the opening remarks from each of the four candidates present, Smirle opened the floor to audience questions.
People came from far and wide to ask candidates some tough questions, most of which centered around farming, health, education, jobs and poverty issues.

The theme for the majority of the questions appeared to be one of government accountability.

The second question of the night fell into several categories: education, jobs, poverty, and government accoutnability. “How do I advance?”

The individual in question is on welfare, applying for jobs, but getting turned down due to lack of experience. Government response to the predicament was to suggest further education. But, there’s no money to pay for the education and this person doesn’t qualify for any of the government programs.

Mark MacDonald’s response: “There’s a number of programs out there. I’d be more than willing to meet with you after and get you as much help as I can and see what resources there are.”

McDonell, in response to MacDonald’s answer, said that the Liberals are a “party that has lost touch with the people it represents.” He continued, “we have to set priorities and put people first.”

The fifth question of the night received a massive response from the crowd. The question was a matter of trust and healthcare. A woman from the audience reminded candidates that the PCs were accusing Liberals of putting Winchester District Memorial Hospital (WDMH) on the chopping block.

She said, “I believe past behaviour predicts future behaviour” and then reminded everyone of Mike Harris and Tim Hudak’s history with chopping healthcare. She asked McDonell, “How do we trust PCs not to do this again?”

McDonell’s response: “You can trust us because we have a reputation of being trusted.” He went on to point out that the Liberals have “much more aggressive spending.”

He further accused Liberals of covering up a plan to close WDMH: “ordered Liberal government to turn over records” and they haven’t, “so we can’t get down to paperwork that tells us they were closing.”

In response, Mark MacDonald  glided over McDonell’s accusations and instead focussed on the people of Winchester: “The people of Winchester deserve a lot of the credit” for the WDMH.

He continued, “The Ontario Liberal government along with the federal government and the people of Winchester put that hospital there.”
Another question centered on Bill 152 and poverty reduction.

McDonell’s response: “I can’t speak for the laws now because it hasn’t been ours for eight years. We have a plan to get people working and lower your cost.”

Elaine MacDonald commented on the state of things now saying, “poverty has grown in Ontario” and the “system is obviously broken.” To support her opinions she pointed to the fact that many “of the people who attend food banks are the working poor” and that “homelessness is growing” in the province.

In addition she talked about the difficulty for those trying to get away from government assistance: “the penalties for working are a deterrent.”

She claimed that she and the NDP “have a multi-faceted approach” to the issue and most importantly, government needs to “treat people with dignity.”

The most common concern for voters seems to be the question of HST and taxes on essential items.

To this, Mark MacDonald asked: “Who wants hospitals and who wants schools?”

“Now is not the time for change.” He continued, “ it’s not about the tax that we pay, it’s about the value of our tax dollar.”
In response, McDonell questioned where the money went.  He pointed to the Liberals who “increased 60 per cent spending on healthcare” and questioned, “on what? Have you seen?”

He reminded the audience that in terms of money and taxes, “it comes down to managing the system.”

After more than twenty questions, it was time for concluding remarks.

Elaine MacDonald stated: “We are the only party that’s promising to put people first.”

Mark MacDonald reiterated an earlier opinion that it “is not the time for change” and invited voters to “mark your mark for mark” on election day.

Donnelly reminded the audience that he and the Libertarians are “asking you to help us shrink the government of its control over us.”
McDonell concluded by reiterating his views on Dalton McGuinty and by reminding voters that “Tim Hudak has a masters in economics.”

Owen Shortt, President of the NDCC, finalized things by thanking the candidates for their courage in sharing their views and in running for election.

For those still unsure of where they stand politically, there’s a website that might help: Answer the questions; find where you stand.


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Perspectives – A Time for Responsibility

The time for responsibility to our province is upon us once again. We are in the throes of a political campaign to help us decide who will be the next governing party in our province. I am awed by the lack of political campaign signs along the roadways and on lawns.

Does this mean that the people who are running for office don’t have the funds to mount a huge campaign with lots of signs and fliers in the mail? Does it mean that the party who has been governing most recently is complacent about this being a “shoe in?” Does it mean that there is a malaise about the whole idea of going to the polls to elect those who will be making decisions for us?

I have, over the years, thought that being “apolitical” was the way to be when one was a Christian.

What I have discovered, to my delight and to my chagrin, is that we should be very political. We should be standing up for what we believe and ensuring that those who want to be elected know precisely what we think is necessary for us to live in a province where everyone counts.
When you look at the gospel stories, Jesus was anything but “apolitical.” He wasn’t shy about telling the powers that be what needed to be done in order for there to be justice for all.

More often than not, Jesus was challenging the political leaders of his time. More often than not, too many of us cannot be bothered to exercise our right to choose.

I ask each of you, please, take the time to find out what the candidates stand for. Find out if there is someone who represents what you believe. Attend all-candidates meetings if you can.

But most important of all be sure that you have a voice on October 6th. Vote for the candidate of your choice.

Whew, now that I have that out of my system, I want to share with you that October 17th marks 10 years that the Dundas County Food Bank has had a branch in Morrisburg.

It’s difficult to know how to observe this anniversary.

If there has to be no food bank in Dundas County, let it be as a result of people having enough resources to buy food rather than there not being enough resources for us to continue to serve those people who need our assistance.

I ask you to support you local food bank in whatever way you can – through food donations, through financial donations or through donations of your time as a volunteer.

Jesus said  “when you feed the hungry, you feed me.”  Our responsibility carries on as we love one another, as Jesus loves us.

Rev. Sue McCullough
Anglican Parish of Morrisburg, Iroquois & Riverside Heights


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Husband-wife duo, same place, same year, a golf anomaly

Jamie Scott, assistant proshop coordinator at Upper Canada Golf Course, was taken aback last Monday, September 19 when he was asked by one of his marshals, Mike Bradley, “what does a blonde from South Carolina have that you don’t.”

The answer, a hole in one on the 95 yard, par-three 13th hole.

The hole in one was dropped by Donna Notman in just her fourth game of the 2011 season, and what makes the accomplishment even more unique is that her husband, Jim, had an ace on the same hole earlier this year.

The Notmans were playing with Mike and Evonne Mabo last Monday.

Donna and Evonne were playing a best ball and when they got to the 13th tee, Evonne joked that they were doing well. She also joked about a hole in one.

“When Donna hit, the ball started rolling towards the pin (back right corner),” says Jim. “It seemed to stop by the pin, and we told her ‘you are really close’.”

“Someone had not put the pin in properly and when we got to the green, the ball was in the hole but was pinned by the flag pole.”
When the pin was pulled the ball dropped to the bottom of the cup.

It was the first hole in one for Donna who took up the game after retiring five years ago.

Not so for husband Jim and his hole in one in the spring.

Jim was playing with Wayne Domanko and Paul Coolican when he dropped his ace on the 13th. That day the pin was tucked behind the imposing sand trap on the left side of the green.

It was Jim’s third hole in one, adding to one he scored at the Morrisburg Golf Course and another on the par three 181 yard seventh hole at Upper Canada.

“It was very exciting,” said Evonne, who with husband Mick figured it was probably “very unusual for a husband and wife to both have a hole in one on the same hole in the same year”.


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Skating rink in Morrisburg plaza for the 2011 Christmas season?

On  September 20th, the Morrisburg Business Improvement Association (BIA) requested permission to put a skating rink in the Morrisburg Plaza for the Christmas season.

According to BIA member Bill Ewing, the requested location would be just south of the clock tower starting “at the first tree and going down to the last tree.”

The plan is to “stay in the center of it” approximately four feet from the canopy. Ewing explained that the BIA would put “plastic down first so (the ice) doesn’t get into the interlock.” He also said that the boards used to frame the rink would be about six inches high.

Ewing pledged: “If approved, (the BIA) will be looking after everything including liability insurance.”

The proposed time line for the rink would include  a starting date of the first Saturday in December and lasting until students go back to school in January.

The plan is “designed more for kids than adults,” said Ewing.

During later discussion, council members voiced their concerns on the proposal.

Hugh Garlough, Manager of Public Works, was worried about  liability. He indicated the ice and the boards surrounding it as possible hazards. He summed up his  feelings saying, that there are “just too many variables here.”

Councillor Jim Graham agreed, saying that “we have to have something back from staff on the ramifications of doing this.”
Councillor Evonne Delegarde voiced concern “about it turning into a hockey rink.”

She also pointed out a security issue: “Somebody’s not going to be there 24 hours to watch this.”

Council members were also concerned about damage to the interlocking brick as well as with the details of how the rink would ultimately be dismantled.

In addition, Councillor Archie Mellan was concerned as to whether all shop owners, especially those directly surrounding the proposed rink, had been contacted about the idea.

While each of the council members seemed to have some concerns, the one thing they all agreed on was the novelty of the idea.

As Mayor Steven Byvelds stated: “Council is in favour of the concept, but just has (a lot) of questions.”

Byvelds proposed that staff come up with a list of questions and concerns about the project. The list will then be presented to the BIA. Once council has answers and feedback to their concerns they will move forward with a decision.


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Eileen Gibson

A resident of Fairview Lodge in Whitby, for the past eight years, Eileen Gibson passed away there on Friday, September 9, 2011. She was 95.

Eileen was born in Mountain, on September 14, 1915, to her parents Sandy and Margaret Workman (nee Christie).

She grew up on the family farm in Heckston. At the age of 13, Eileen’s mother passed away, and she stayed home to care for her brothers and sisters.

In 1935, she married Thomas Gibson and started her family–Lillian, Sandy, Floyd, Rita and Dennis. Eileen was a stay at home mother.

The family moved to Oshawa in the 1950’s, and later she moved to Niagara Falls. Eileen loved to visit her neighbours and often baked treats for everyone.

She worked well into her 70’s doing housework and cooking meals for her clients. At 70, still very strong and energetic, she obtained her passport and travelled to England for a three-week visit with friends she had written to for many years.

Eileen was a very active member of her church. Her faith and God were a very important part of her life, and she enjoyed reading her bible daily.

Eileen’s life has been 95 years, well lived…her family, friends and her love of God, her treasures.

Eileen is survived by her children Thomas “Sandy” Gibson (Verna) of RR#2 Iroquois, Rita Jordan (Earl) of Oshawa and Dennis Gibson (Roly) of Oshawa, by her son-in-law James Kaczmarek (Lillian) of St. Catharines and her daughter-in-law Shirley Gibson (Floyd) of Iroquois. She was dear sister-in-law of Doreen Workman (Donald) of Prescott, Martha Workman (Lloyd) of Kemptville and Lorraine Workman (Lyall) of Kemptville.

Eileen will be fondly remembered by her grandchildren Karl Kaczmarek, Cathy Gibson (Neil Huffman), Shelley Byers (James), Carl Gibson (Bonnie), Glen Easter,  Graydon, Logan and by her great-grandchildrenWilliam and Maddie Huffman, Stacey (Jon) Pergunas, Melissa Gibson and by her great-great-grandchildren Maleigh and Gavin Pergunas.

She was predeceased by her husband Thomas, her daughter Lillian Kaczmarek, her son Floyd Gibson, her sisters Yvonne Baldwin and Lois Dolan and by her brothers Donald, Lloyd, Howard, and Lyall Workman.

She is also survived by many nieces and nephews.